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'Hospital bosses need to hear patients' views'
CAMPAIGNING councillor Julia Wassell said health chiefs need to hear from patients before an inquiry into urgent care in the county can be concluded.
A draft report from the county's Urgent Care Inquiry Group was submitted to the Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee this week, and it will now be considered by Buckinghamshire County Council's cabinet after a majority of members approved it.
But Cllr Wassell and three other committee members representing wards in the Wycombe District voted against approving the report.
She said the report, set up in response to the Keogh Review into services, wasn't detailed enough and needed an input from patients using hospitals in the county - particularly those in the Wycombe area, after Accident and Emergency services were axed from Wycombe Hospital in 2011.
Cllr Wassell said a meeting of residents should be held to collate their views - and she said she would organise it herself if Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust didn't.
The Ryemead and Micklefield councillor, whose petition calling for A&E services to be restored to Wycombe was signed by 16,500 people, said: "We want to have a second part of the inquiry in Wycombe. That's very important.
"We've only heard from the Trust managers and clinicians - those who provide the services - but not those who use the services. We haven't heard from any patients, so we argued the inquiry was incomplete. We intend to continue the inquiry in Wycombe.
"I'm disappointed by the recommendations of the inquiry. It hasn't gone far enough. It's just accepting the status quo.
"It says services need to be publicised better but it doesn't say what's wrong with the services."
She added: "After the Keogh report the Trust have made big improvements, it would be churlish to say that they hadn't."
Select Committee chairman Lin Hazell said: "Buckinghamshire has seen a great deal of change in the design and delivery of its urgent care services, and this has naturally been difficult for people to accept without some fear.
"Added to this were the shortcomings revealed in the Keogh Report, which shook people's faith in their local hospitals.
"Despite this, our inquiry has found that the county's urgent care services are designed in the interest of better outcomes for all residents and tailored to the needs of the Buckinghamshire population."
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